Clutch Tension Adjustment?

My 1970 Nova has a very stiff clutch pedal. Is it possible to adjust the tension on it? It’s getting to the point where it makes my foot sore to drive the thing- very annoying. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. It has a 3 speed on the floor gear-shift.

Assuming the clutch linkage is not binding and working smoothly, then the only other possibility is that an incorrect pressure-plate has been installed…Someone may have installed a “heavy duty”, “Truck”,“racing” or “Corvette” type clutch not compatible with your clutch linkage geometry…There are literally hundreds of different clutch covers made for Chevrolet vehicles…You need to insure the correct parts have been installed in your car…

The proper clutch for that car is a diaphragm type that should not require much effort. But miss matching components, including over sized pressure plates and modifying linkages to make them work can cause some big issues. Also, the clutch fork can be severely worn and cause an increase in effort. The floor shift 3 speed leads me to believe that something has been back yard engineered. I don’t believe that the Nova was available with a floor shift 3 speed in 1970.

That sounds like the clutch would need to be replaced- probably not worth the expense.

It was originally a 3 speed on the column- Yes it was back-yard engineered by the guy who owned it before I did.

I just recently had the clutch replaced on my 1998 Civic, and it came back from the shop with much lighter pressure, among other issues. Fortunately, I took the car back to the shop and they made it right. In the process they installed a new clutch kit (again) and replaced the master and slave cylinders. Now it’s working much more like I expected it to.

I just thought I would put this out there for more knowledgeable folks:

In addition to lubricating the linkage, do you think replacing the master cylinder and/or slave cylinder would make a difference?

I talked to a mechanic today- He says I would have to basically replace the clutch to make it have less tension. He also said a tight clutch is good because it is more responsive. So, I guess I will just put up with it for the time being.

Discussing a car as old as a 1970 Nova, I wonder if it has a hydraulic clutch or direct linkage. If it’s direct linkage, the pressure is probably pretty normal, like it would be on a commercial truck.

That car used a mechanical linkage, Whitey. And wear at the pedal and bell crank fulcrums would throw the sweep of the bell crank away from perpendicular, resulting in a stiff pedal that made only a short stroke against the fork.

I think it’s direct linkage.

Thanks for all the help- Clearly this isn’t worth putting money into adjusting.

If the bushings in the pedal and bell crank are replaced and the pedal to bell crank rod replaced with an adjustable rod the problem might be corrected. You must look at the bell crank and determine whether its stroke passes perpendicular in its swing to the rear. Just like getting a bicycle off to a start, beginning with the pedal just above the horizontal gives the best result.